Monday, November 16, 2015

Some Love For The Overwhelmed Mama

by Sarah

I take a lot of beautiful photos of my kids, but I usually have to take a lot of photos to get one good one. Here's to keeping the photos that aren't "perfect" and admiring your kids just being themselves for a moment, which sometimes includes a todzilla tantrum. This is real life, folks.  :)

I always promise to write more mommy blogs and I actually have a whole list of things I am working on--including what to pack in your hospital bag, breastfeeding, postpartum care (down there!) and much more. I thought I would start with something that all mamas-- and fathers- can relate to-- those days that just get to be overwhelming because your kids are being crazy!
When you're a mother, you can sometimes feel like your hard work is going completely unnoticed. From the time that you wake up in the morning to the time that your little ones go to bed, it can be non-stop craziness. Now that I have two babies (one infant, one toddler) it can get overwhelming to show them both affection, find activities for them to do, make them wholesome meals, clean the house, work on laundry, manage to get makeup on, have dinner ready before 5pm, work on my writing...AND spend time with Dan after he gets home with work. All of this happens on my days off from work! These days usually go somewhat smoothly if the kids are happy, but some days, it can be mayhem if someone is grumpy or didn't get a good night's sleep.

I'm not writing this blog to complain, because I really truly love being a mother and I love the life we are building for them. But, these "Mommy Mayhem" days do sneak their way in every once in a while. They usually happen when the kids refuse to take naps, throw tantrums, make messes and after I clean it up, make the same mess over again, etc. I am one of those people who likes to have a clean house and stick to a routine so as much as I would like to admit that I can go with the flow, these off days really throw me for a loop.

Last week, I had a particularly difficult day with my toddler. I woke up and thought I would make a trip to Target and maybe...stop into Homegoods. (Target is one of the few places I can go to with my kids because they have Wi-Fi, it is never too crowded, and we can get Starbucks while we're in there. Homegoods is a different story. Homegoods is an anti-toddler zone.) However, as soon as we made our way into Target, Noah insisted on throwing a tantrum because I forgot to charge up our ipad so that he could watch an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while I shopped. He wouldn't sit in the cart. He screamed and threw himself on the floor and kicked his legs if I tried to pick him up... I just couldn't get him to calm down so we all had to leave the store.

When I was leaving, I felt so overwhelmed and defeated because I hear so many other mothers say things like, "Toddlers live in our world. We don't live in their world, so they need to suck it up while I finish my shopping." I began to compare myself to other mothers who in my head, appear to have a better handle on their toddlers.

Noah is usually a peach in Target and even enjoys it usually, but on this day, he just insisted on throwing a tantrum and it took so much out of me. Out of all of us.

As a mother of two kids only 20 months apart, sometimes I feel like I have it all together and other days, I feel like a total failure. I collapse into bed after I get both of my kids to sleep and wonder how I made it through the day. I'm nursing a 6 month old and I'm trying to navigate my way through Noah's "Terrible Two's" and potty train him.

And there are other days when everything works out. Everyone has on cute outfits that stay clean, I manage to do my makeup, clean the house, make a dinner, give them both a bath and get them to bed. I just always try to remind myself that "it's their day, too" (a quote that I saw on Pinterest one day) and that even when I'm feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, that I need to remind myself that these are the days that I will look back on when I'm much older than I am now and wish I could revisit.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed today, pack up your kids and go to a drive thru Starbucks, take a deep breath, relax today, and try again tomorrow. I need reminded daily that things do not need to be perfect because I have TWO BABIES so if you are reading this and need that reminder, soak it in. When you put your kids down for a nap, watch an episode of Scandal instead of vigorously mopping all of your hardwood floors. Have your husband watch the kids for an hour when he gets home and go to Target to "buy diapers" (i.e. get lost in the Christmas section.) Take a little break whenever you can for just a moment and recharge your soul.

**And here's a shoutout to the fathers of these little ones. It's not just the mamas who go through this.

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